Last Saturday I went to the first event of the home season for the Cincinnati Rollergirls – The Schooling of Hard Knox – held at the Cincinnati Gardens. It was a double header with the CRG Silent Lambs taking on the Hard Knox Brawlers in a 40 minute bout and the CRG Black Sheep battling the Hard Knox A-Team in a 60 minute bout. The event turned out to be appropriately titled as both of the CRG teams came away with decisive wins. Congrats to all the Silent Lambs and the Black Sheep! It was a great evening for the large crowd. I didn’t hear an attendance count, but judging from the sizes of last season’s crowds there must have been more than a thousand people there. Just noticed Miss Print reports over 1500 spectators!!
The opening match was the first time most CRG fans saw some new skaters to the sport (Captain Painway, Bangin’ Brunette, and Manic Janet) and some experienced transplants (Polly Rocket and Karma Krash) joining the returning CRG skaters. It was an especially unique bout for Karma Krash, who was skating against her former teammates. The spectators also saw the return of Susie Shinsplintski as the official blowing the starting whistle with style and gusto as shown in the photo at the right.
Initially the primary Silent Lamb jammers were Dr. McDerby, Polly Rocket, Miss Print and Bex Pistol. McDerby looked strong as usual and got the Lambs off to an early lead. Miss Print had several high scoring jams in the first period and at least a couple grand slams (and I think one double grand slam?) during the bout. She took some hard hits from the Brawlers, but kept moving without getting hung up in the pack. The photo at right shows Miss Print taking a hard block from Rock Nasty that sent MP to the floor.
The Lambs were working pretty well together as a team. Skaters in the pack were doing a pretty good job shifting from offense to defense. The photo below shows Miss Print getting a nice whip from Killian Destroy. The Lamb blockers were also successful at slowing the Brawler jammers. At the end of the first period, the Lambs were ahead with a score of 41 to 19.
As the match progressed, several skaters took their turn wearing the jammer star. Cherry Choke, Jungle Lacy, and Glamour Azz all had the chance to score. The second period was a repeat of the first period and the Lambs ended up with a decisive win over the Hard Knox Brawlers with a score of 93 to 34. Great job from the Lambs. You can see more of my photos from the Silent Lambs/Brawlers bout in my Flickr set here.
The second match between the CRG Black Sheep and the Hard Knox A-Team started out with a surprise. After the initial couple of jams, the Black Sheep trailed Hard Knox with a score of 11 to 7. Although four points isn’t much in a bout, it was nonetheless a surprising start. But once they settled in, the Black Sheep went on an amazing scoring spree while almost completely shutting down the Hard Knox jammers. The CRG defense was so effective, the Black Sheep jammers had quite a few grand slams even though they had to make it through the Hard Knox blockers on their own quite a bit of the time. The primary jammers were Hannah Barbaric, Candy KICKass, and K. Lethal (photo above at right). According to the CRG twitters during the bout (by the way, nice touch having a dedicated Twitterer during the bout), K. Lethal led the first half scoring with 33! Sadistic Sadie was jamming, but unfortunately for Hard Knox the addition of K. Lethal to the jammer rotation allowed Sadie to rotate in with the already tough Black Sheep blockers. The photo at right shows the Hard Knox jammer Goblynn boxed in by the CRG blocking team of Sista Sacralicious, Trauma, and Sadistic Sadie. Good luck trying to get through that! At the end of the first half the Black Sheep were ahead with a score of 85 to 18. You know it's bad when the pivot on the opposing team is skating backwards in front of you -- I love the photo below.
The second period was another rough 30 minutes for Hard Knox. They scored 20 more points, but were shut down at 38 for quite a few jams! In the meantime, Hannah and Candy led the CRG jamming effort and the bout ended with the Black Sheep winning with a score of 178 to 38. Congrats to the Black Sheep! The photo below shows Candy KICKass rounding the turn during one of her jamming sprints. The rest of my photos from the Black Sheep/Hard Knox bout can be found in this Flickr set.
Overall I thought it was a great event. It’s good to see the Black Sheep greet and connect with the crowd while the Lambs are warming up. I like the new floor seating arrangement that puts the fans close to the track and effectively surrounds the player benches instead of having the players off to the side. The half-time entertainment by the CincyCool Skate Crew was very good! Finally, as usual, the skaters were good about making themselves available to give autographs and chat with fans after the bout. Dianne took a photo of me with Karma Krash (at right) and I got to meet K. Lethal (photo below) as well. The only thing that disappointed me a bit was that it was difficult to hear the announcers The Tank and Collier Mama. That was too bad as I enjoy The Tank’s commentary and Collier Mama brings some color and skater experience to the mix.
I was sitting by several folks from the Cincinnati Imports group from Facebook – Miss Print fans. It was nice to meet you all. I noticed quite a few blog posts about the bout. Check out this post by 5chw4r7z, this post from Queer Cincinnati, and this wonderful story and bout impressions on Kate's random musings (thanks Kate for exchanging Moo cards).
Also, click here for photos from Jason and here for photos from Jeff – the CRG photographers that rock!
The next CRG event is on April 11th. I hope attendance stays up to cheer on the Cincinnati Rollergirls. If you go, stop by the Flock section before the bout or at a break to say hello. It’s always great to meet other derby fans.
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